Get to know Cape Town's resident hip-hop and RnB DJ, VJ Vybez, with this latest mix.
This week, our Monday Mixtape is brought to you by Zimbabwe-born video jockey VJ Vybez. Starting out in 2006 in Harare, Zimbabwe, the DJ then moved to the Johannesburg club scene as well as having a short stint on Channel O. After relocating to Cape Town and becoming a resident DJ at Chez Ntemba and Jade Lounge, he’s currently the new resident DJ at Coco Night Club. Along with his “VJ Vybez Experience” nights where he does exclusive video mixing, the hip-hop and RnB DJ has taken to many a stage, including Pop Bottles, Rocking The Daisies, Ultra Music Festival South Africa and more. Keep reading to hear more about his sound story and where else you can hear him play!
How did you come up with your alias? Take us through why you’re a VJ, not a DJ.
Regarding my alias, I was taught how to deejay for the very first time by a Zimbabwean DJ called TK Beatz back in Zim. Since I had no alias in mind, I figured if he was the Beatz then I would be the Vybez. Since then, the Vybez part stuck and I rode with it. Upon my introduction into the DJing scene, I got into video mixing straight away. Back in 2006, I didn’t know that there were VJs until a musician called Roki just blurted out, “You should be VJ Vybez, not DJ Vybez, since you are a video jockey, not a disc jockey.” That’s how it started and here we are.
How did you get into VJing and DJing?
Well these are two different categories for me. Starting with the DJing part, it’s quite a funny story actually. I just wanted to join the cool kids at house parties who had the opportunity to play music and owned CDs. After getting a couple of chances to play at house parties, I needed a bigger fix and next on my radar was the club scene. Hence, I approached DJ TK Beatz who showed me what mixing music was all about and introduced me to my first ever club DJing experience. I got into the VJing after I had been in the club scene for about a month or two and I saw a DVD by American DJs Hot2Def and VJ 9Double called Street Video Mix 5 — then I knew I wanted to be a part of the VJ culture. Since then I never looked back and only have music videos in my music library which I VJ during my video mixing sets.
What was the first album you ever bought?
Ja Rule - Pain is Love
It was with all the money I had even though I had nowhere to play it unless my dad wasn’t at home because I was forbidden from playing around with his radio.
What's the best and worst part about being a South African DJ?
One of the best things about being a South African DJ is the vast amount of music we have in this nation before we even venture into international artist catalogues. Ranging from kwaito, modern day hip-hop to house — diversity works to our benefit here. We’re also technologically advanced and don’t struggle to follow the trending vibe. A major flaw I feel about being a South African DJ is how DJs that aren’t from Johannesburg, especially hip-hop DJs, struggle to get the recognition unless they have some sort of JHB connection.This is partly a hip-hop DJ disadvantage as you don’t really find the same issues as much in the other genres, for example, house DJs. House DJs from PE, Durban etc. are easily successful and work effectively from their provinces and manage to make a distinctive mark on the industry, which unfortunately is more difficult for hip-hop DJs to achieve as they end up relocating to Johannesburg for greener pastures.
Which acts do you like sharing a stage with?
Amongst DJs, I would say DJs Milkshake, Vigilante and Dimplez. They know how to co-exist with other DJs on stage, they don’t hog all the limelight and they still manage to rock the crowd with their own unique style of play. For MC’s, I would say Kyeezi and Jade John (aka JJ Fresh). We really don’t need to say much to each other — they know how to read me and me them. The chemistry’s good. As for rappers, AKA because we go way back to around 2012, and Riky Rick because his energy on stage is incredible.
Where can we see you play?
For video mixing, you can catch me on MTV Base (DSTv 322) on the show #Mixology, at Coco Nightclub (CPT) and Pretoria Lounge (CPT).
For DJing, you can catch me on 5FM’s The Ultimix every Wednesday at 6:30pm, at Souk Restaurant & Bar (CPT) and at Gold Bar (CPT).
What's in the mix you made us?
It’s a mix of some of my favourite local and international tracks:
Ms Cosmo - 88 Ft. Kwesta, Kid X & Solo
Bubba Sparxxx - Ms New Booty Ft. Ying Yang Twins
T-Pain - Up Down (Do This All Day) Ft. B.o.B
Blueface - Thotiana
Ester Dean - Drop It Low Ft. Chris Brown
Snoop Dogg - Drop It Like It's Hot Ft. Pharrell
Cassper Nyovest - Baby Girl
Mshoza - Ayina Chorus
Kodak Black - ZEZE Ft. Travis Scott & Offset
Riky Rick - I Can't Believe It (Macoins)
Kendrick Lamar - Element
Lil Wayne - Uproar Ft. Swizz Beatz
AKA - Fela In Versace Ft. Kiddominant
Trey Songz - Na Na
T Pain - I'm Sprung
DJ Snake - Let Me Love You (Remix) Ft Sean Paul & Justin Bieber
Mario - Let Me Love You
AKA - All Eyes on Me Ft. Burna Boy, Da L.E.S., JR
City Girls - Twerk (Remix) Ft. Cardi B
DJ Sliqe - Do Like I Do Ft. Kwesta & Flabba
Kanye West - I Love It Ft. Lil Pump & Adele Givens
Faith Evans - Love Like This
Lil Wayne - Uproar Ft. Swizz Beatz
50 Cent - Disco Inferno
Frank Casino - Whole Thing Ft. Riky Rick
Lauryn Hill - Doo Wop (That Thing)
Konshens - Bubble Butt
DJ Snake - Taki Taki Ft. Selena Gomez, Ozuna, Cardi B
Post Malone - Wow